By: Rochelle Ceira
Successful organizations know the significance of innovation in business. Apple is a good example of how effective innovation management can improve your products and scale up your business. After reaching on the brink of collapse, it achieved new heights of success by implementing effective innovation management policy. The success of its innovative management strategies once again brought it in the league of leading organizations. If you are an entrepreneur who wants to learn from innovative management strategies of successful organizations, consider the following thirteen strategies.
In non-technical language, innovative management is any process that involves changes in planning, ideation, technical execution and production of resources in a way that can make a system more functional for people. In context of business, it focuses on two major objectives:
- Improving operational systems of an organization
- Enhancing products/services for end-users
In the former case, it takes into consideration the leadership, management and resources that make up the working machinery of an organization. In the latter case, it works on the systems and processes involved in creative and technical aspects of developing a product/service. An effective innovation strategy results in better performance of employees, increased productivity and higher customer satisfaction.
Applying these 13 practices will help you create an effective innovative management strategy that will foster creative thinking in your organization:
1. Innovation as an integral value in their business philosophy
Unlike need-seekers, innovative organizations consider innovation as their core business value. They do not seek innovation as a need-based thing and instead consider it as a continuous phenomenon which is crucial for their growth. By implementing innovation as a fundamental business value, they are able to create an environment that fosters creativity.
2. Taking the lead
The world’s leading innovative organizations are always the first ones to lead a trend. From Ford motors to Apple, you will learn that these organizations were the first ones to take initiatives in their respective industries. Ford Motors pioneered the “line assembly” mechanism which introduced mass production of cars, while Apple revolutionized the IT industry with its production of sleek-designed products that enhanced mobility and increased performance.
3. Implementation of technology for collaboration
Truly successful innovative organizations integrate an effective IT infrastructure that enables smooth flow of information. Such a system ensures a seamless sharing of information and access to ideas which results in higher collaboration and better engagement across the organization.
Open innovation can be organized into a more inclusive granting mechanism. In the past, nonprofits and other organizations would fund social enterprises by asking for a written proposal—but combining mentorship and crowdsourcing creates new opportunities and community solutions. Find out how it worked for Pact and the US Department of State in the AfrIdea case study.
4. They exercise an innovation-friendly environment
All innovation-friendly organizations practice a seamless systems and processes that support creativity at every step. A production manager cannot better the design of products if the finance department is not allowing sufficient budget to execute the process.
Similarly, an IT manager cannot integrate an effective collaborative system in business applications if it lacks a supportive IT infrastructure. For a successful innovation strategy, all your processes and systems have to merge together to make your ideas a reality.
5. They measure innovation
Innovative organizations apply metrics tools for their creative and development processes. Their success depends on how much time and money is spent on implementing innovation in the organization. The following metrics can be used to measure the success of their innovation management:
- The amount of time spent in creativity sessions
- The amount of money spent on training workers for innovation skills
- The extent to which processes and systems are restructured to support innovation
6. They are not afraid to experiment with new ideas
Successful businesses are not afraid take risks where others may be reluctant. By experimenting and risk-taking, they are able to put new products and services on the market and improve their business processes and strategies.
7. They fund creative training programs
An innovative business is run by a creative team. Innovation-minded managers recognize the power of a creative team and never hesitate to spend on their training. Effective innovation training programs motivate employees to find creative ideas that can improve work processes and enhance their productivity.
8. They reward creative talent
The world’s leading innovative organizations acknowledge the creative talent of their company with incentives and rewards. By appreciating work of their talented workers, they give them a strong reason to exercise their creative muscles in betterment of the organization.
9. They have a leadership team that inspires ideas
A creative leadership team is crucial to inspire the workers for creativity. World’s most recognized innovative organizations have a certain pattern of innovative thinking that transitions from top leadership to the junior staff. Leadership stimulates creative thinking that the technical staff implements in their work processes.
10. They have a shared definition of innovation
In an organization, the definition of innovation has to be shared unanimously by leadership stakeholders. Unless all the senior management agree upon a unified interpretation of innovation, it will be difficult for an organization to implement creativity at the grass-root level. A contradicting definition of innovation creates glitches in creation, execution and application of innovation in an organization.
11. They have a machinery to fine-tune creative ideas
Innovation comes in raw form. It needs to be refined before it could be implemented in a system. Similarly, innovative companies have right people and resources to convert a potential idea into a tangible result. They have intellectual, technical and financial resources to make an innovative concept a reality.
12. They have an artistic workplace
Majority of innovative organizations design their workplace to inspire creativity. Google, Facebook, Nokia and Dropbox all have an artistic workplace that induces creativity and stimulate new ideas. No wonder these organizations offer their clients amazingly creative products and services.
13. They are never complacent
Innovative organizations are never complacent with their success. They always look for creative and novel strategies that could help them develop their working processes and enhance their products. As they are always open to new ideas, they are able to develop creativity around their working approach which enables them to serve their clients with better products.
By Rochelle Ceira
About the author
Rochelle Ceira is a marketing consultant at a digital marketing firm that specializes in monitoring social trends and penetrating lead funnels. When not working, she loves to blog on innovation in digital marketing, trend shifting analysis, etc.
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